With nearly two decades of experience, Anjali Das represents insurers in connection with professional liability insurance coverage matters and claims involving accounting, finance and other complex business issues. She is a coordinating partner for the firm’s Directors & Officers practice and a member of the Diversity Committee.
Anjali represents the interests of U.S., London and Bermuda-based primary and excess insurers in high-exposure claims against directors and officers of public and private companies, non-profit boards, financial institutions, investment banks, insurance companies, mortgage brokers, bank and custodial trustees, and ERISA plan fiduciaries. She has handled claims related to shareholder class actions seeking multimillion-dollar damages against public companies and their directors and officers, as well as other high-profile fraud cases involving a variety of issues.
Driven by her passion for the interplay of law and business, Anjali earned a masters in business administration at one of the nation’s top business schools in 2001 while maintaining a full-time legal practice at the firm. Clients benefit from her ability to view legal issues from a business perspective as well as her understanding of how shareholder obligations impact the corporate decision-making process. Anjali’s focused insurance and business background is further enhanced by her experience as in-house claims counsel for a domestic insurance carrier.
Areas of Focus
Directors & Officers Liability
Anjali has successfully mediated, arbitrated and litigated D&O and other insurance coverage disputes in state and federal courts nationwide. Anjali regularly represents D&O insurers as coverage and monitoring counsel in complex shareholder class actions against public companies and their directors and officers for violations of federal securities laws; shareholder derivative suits against directors and officers for breach of fiduciary duty and mismanagement in the context of mergers and acquisitions and other business transactions; and ERISA stock drop lawsuits. These matters specifically have involved late trading, market timing, stock options backdating, contingent commissions, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, China reverse merger companies, the Bernard L. Madoff international Ponzi scheme, and the mortgage subprime crisis. She also has counseled clients in connection with lawsuits brought by the government and regulators, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Anjali’s representation in such matters has resulted in tens of millions of dollars in savings for insurance companies.
Prior to joining the firm, Anjali served as in-house claims counsel for a domestic insurance carrier, where she was responsible for claims arising under public and private D&O, employment practices and lawyers liability insurance policies. She assisted in drafting policy wording and endorsements, established a network of approved defense panel counsel, analyzed potential liability exposure and coverage defenses to claims, set claims reserves and interacted with the company’s reinsurers during claims audits. Through this experience, Anjali gained valuable insight into the insurance company claims reporting structure; the management of outside counsel; the dynamic interplay among adjusters, underwriters and brokers; the importance of setting accurate claims reserves in a timely fashion; the role of reinsurers; and the value of tracking claims trends and costs, which impact an insurance company’s long-term business objectives and profitability.
Data Privacy & Security
Anjali has developed proficiency in a wide range of cyber liability matters, including drafting and analyzing cyber policy language, endorsements, and underwriting guidelines for insurers; litigating coverage matters arising under cyber/tech/media/E&O policies in state and federal courts nationwide; representing primary and excess insurers as coverage and monitoring counsel in connection with first-party and third-party claims under cyber liability insurance policies; fielding cyber hotline calls involving data breaches; and advising clients on cyber risk management and related corporate governance issues involving data security and privacy laws and regulations. Anjali is a member of the Steering Committee for the firm’s Data Privacy & Security practice. She has written several articles and given numerous presentations on cyber-related issues, including cyber liability exposures of companies and their directors and officers.
Employment Practices Liability
Anjali has been handling employment claims for defendants and insurers since the early 1990s. One of her first assignments as a young attorney was successfully defending a charge by the EEOC accusing her corporate client of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for failure to pay overtime compensation to employees who were allegedly improperly classified as exempt from overtime. Anjali negotiated a successful resolution of the EEOC charge and avoided class action litigation against her client. Since that time, Anjali has continued to handle employment claims for U.S. and London insurers and their insureds. Such services include monitoring, supervising, mediating and negotiating favorable resolutions of EEOC charges and civil actions involving a wide range of claims for violations of state and federal employment laws, including claims alleging gender, age and race discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, wage and hour claims, and retaliation claims asserted by whistleblower employees. These claims run the gamut from relatively small claims asserted by individual employees to high-profile suits involving highly compensated senior-level executives of large public companies and putative class actions. In all instances, Anjali seeks to partner with employers and their respective insurers in an effort to achieve a mutually favorable resolution as expeditiously as possible.
As part of her professional liability insurance coverage practice, Anjali handles reinsurance matters for both foreign and domestic clients. For example, she has had day-to-day oversight of a reinsurance program for one of the country’s largest banks, insured by the London market for D&O liability, bankers’ professional liability and fiduciary liability claims. She represented the bank’s reinsurers as coverage counsel and monitoring counsel for complex, multimillion-dollar claims and class action lawsuits alleging predatory lending, excessive banking and overdraft fees, violations of federal and state securities and antitrust laws, receipt of undisclosed contingent commissions, and aiding and abetting Ponzi schemes.
Anjali also has conducted reinsurance audits of claims files and prepared reinsurance reports analyzing potential exposure for a variety of professional liability claims.
A Guide to Cyber Coverage
Insurance Coverage, Vol. 24, No. 4 ABA Section of Litigation
SEC Polices Cybersecurity on Wall Street
SEC Polices Cybersecurity on Wall Street
June 4, 2014
The SEC’s new disclosure guidance was intended to bring greater awareness and transparency to actual or potential cybersecurity risk that might be considered material to investors. However, the SEC has acknowledged that this guidance alone might not be sufficient to address investor concerns.
Google and the Great Divide: U.S. Privacy Rights versus EU Privacy Rights
Court of Justice: U.S. versus EU Privacy Rights
June 2, 2014
On May 13, 2014, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that an individual has the right to demand that Google remove links about him that he claimed were old and irrelevant. But which approach is best - the right to be forgotten or the right to know? The “ right to be forgotten” as currently described by the Court of Justice could create a clash between freedom of speech, which is supported in the United States, and the EU’s broader concept of privacy.
Data Breach and Privacy Update
D&Os in Cyberspace: SEC Endorses Social Media for Corporate Communications with Investors
Corporate Communications with Investors @ Facebook?
April 9, 2013
Companies that plan to use social media to communicate material corporate information to investors should make sure they have effective policies, controls and safeguards in place to mitigate potential risk for violations of securities or other laws.
Supreme Courts New Ruling May Bolster Defense of Data Breach and Privacy Cases
U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Strict Article III Standing in Privacy Case
March 25, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of heightened standards for future harm may significantly aid corporations in obtaining dismissals for data security and cyber beach lawsuits where plaintiffs frequently cannot show that their personal information will subject them to identity theft or be used in a manner to cause them some other concrete financial harm.
FCPA: Defining D&O M&A Liability for Violations
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
December 19, 2012
The long-awaited Guidance on potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act may provide some relief and useful tips for directors and officers of companies that have been increasingly concerned about potential exposure for successor liability emanating from FCPA violations by the acquired entity.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Gives Rise to D&O Claims
Financial Fraud Law Report
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Gives Rise to D&O Claims
June 13, 2012 Walmart is the latest high-profile target of a string of D&O claims involving the increasingly enforced Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The SEC and DOJ have maintained an aggressive stance on FCPA violations and enforcement actions, which can lead to shareholder derivative civil actions.
Claims Against China-Based Reverse Merger Companies: A Tempest in a Teapot of Gunpowder or Green Tea?
July 2011 Many China-based issuers have been targeted by regulators and investors alike for purported securities and accounting fraud that could ultimately cost D&O insurers millions in losses.
D&O Insurers Be Aware: U.K. Bribery Act Takes Effect on July 1
June 2011 In light of the potential long arm of the Bribery Act, directors and officers (“ D&O” ) liability carriers should familiarize themselves with the potential increased exposure to their insureds. In addition, D&O insurers would be well advised to consider potential coverage issues under their policies for claims and investigations under the Bribery Act.
New FDIC Lawsuits Attack Former Bank D&Os
Many financial industry insiders and their insurers have been wondering where the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has been during the recent financial industry meltdown. As the appointed receiver of failed banks that are federally insured, the FDIC is expected to be at the forefront of litigation against the directors and officers (D&Os) of failed financial institutions.
Impact of Dodd-Frank Act on D&O Liability: Corporate Governance, Compensation, Claw-Backs and More
Recently enacted sweeping financial legislation embodied in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Act) creates new concerns for directors and officers of all public companies - not just financial institutions. D&Os will be subject to heightened public and regulatory scrutiny in connection with corporate governance and executive compensation. Broad disclosure requirements regarding executive pay, coupled with potentially enormous financial incentives to corporate whistle-blowers, could lead to increased liability exposure for D&Os and their insurers.
Delaware decisions reduce hurdles to defending D&O claims
September 2009 A typical claim targeting directors and officers (D&Os) in the context of a merger or acquisition is that the D&Os breached their fiduciary duties of care and loyalty by failing to get the best deal for shareholders. However, in a boon to D&Os and their insurers, several recent Delaware court decisions have made it easier for defendants to successfully defend these types of claims.
“ SEC and Other U.S. Exchanges Crack Down on Chinese and Other Reverse Merger Companies, ” D&O Diary Blog, November 2011.
“ Claims Against China-Based Reverse Merger Companies: A Tempest in a Teapot of Gunpowder Green Tea?, ” Wilson Elser Client Alert, July 2011.
“ D&O Insurers Be Wary: U.K. Bribery Act Takes Effect July 1, ” PLUS Journal, July 2011.
“ New FDIC Lawsuits Attack Former Bank Directors and Officers, ” Wilson Elser Client Alert, May 2011.
“ Impact of Dodd-Frank Act on D&O Liability: Corporate Governance, Compensation, Clawbacks and More, ” Wilson Elser Client Alert, November 2010.
“ D&O Settlements: Straight or Crooked?, ” Wilson Elser Client Alert, 2009.
“ Recent Delaware Decisions Reduce Hurdles in Defending D&O Claims, ” Wilson Elser Client Alert, September 2009.
“ Ninth Circuit Holds that Insured v. Insured Exclusion in D&O Policy is not ‘ Gobbledygook’, ” Wilson Elser Client Alert, 2009.
“ The ABCs of D&O Insurance, ” Illinois Bar Journal, June 2005.
“ Developments in Delaware D&O Indemnification Law, ” Andrews Corporate Officers and Directors Litigation Reporter, February 2005.
“ D&O Insurers Personally Profit, ” PLUS Journal, December 2004.
Avoiding Data Breaches: Mission Impossible? Corporate and D&O Exposure
July 1, 2014
Wilson Elser Lunch Seminar/CLE
Why Data Breaches Have Become a D&O Headache
March 18, 2014
Chicago Bar Association Cyber Law Committee
Hot Topics in D&O
October 30, 2013
Cyber Liability: Insurance Coverage under Traditional and New Cyber Policies - and the Risks to Corporate Boards
March 12, 2013
FC&S Legal, an affiliate of The National Underwriter Company
How DID Network Security and Privacy Issues Become D&O Exposures?
November 9, 2012
PLUS International Conference
Das Moderates PLUS Webinar on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
July 12, 2012
Das to Moderate Legal Webinar on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
June 4, 2012
Anjali Das to Moderate PLUS Midwest D&O and Employment Liability Hot Topics Seminar
April 13, 2012
“ What’s New in the World of D&O Liability?, ” Bermuda, September 2011.
“ What’s New in the Defense of Claims Against Directors and Officers?, ” Crittenden Middle Markets Accounts Conference, September 2011.
“ Hot Topics in Directors and Officers Liability, ” PLUS Midwest Spring Education Event, Chicago, IL, June 2011.
“ Evaluating the Impact of Financial Institution Litigation on the D&O Market, ” American Conference Institute 16th Annual Summit on D&O Liability, New York, NY, December 2010.
“ Chi-Town Smackdown! Reverse Auctioning, Common-Fund Haggling, and Other Ethical Dilemmas Challenging Class Action Litigation and Settlements, ” American Bar Association 14th Annual National Institute on Class Action, Chicago, IL, October 2010.
“ The Role of Insurers in Class Action Litigation, ” Practising Law Institute Class Action Litigation Strategies seminar, New York, NY, July 2010.
“ Hot Topics in D&O, Employment Practices, and Lawyers Liability, ” PLUS Midwest Chapter Spring Education Event, Chicago, IL, May 2010.
“ Determining the Reasonableness of Defense Costs, ” American Conference Institute 15th Annual Summit on D&O Liability, New York, NY, December 2009.
“ Surveying (and Surviving) the Wreckage Below: All About Excess Insurance, ” PLUS International Conference, Chicago, IL, November 2009.
“ (Bernard L.) Madoff Mayhem, ” Bermuda, July 2009.
“ It’s a Mad, Mad World: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of Madoff Liability and Other Ponzi Schemes, ” PLUS Midwest Chapter Spring Education Event, Chicago, IL, April 2009.
“ Blood in the Shark Tank: Chum(p) Avoidance, ” PLUS International Conference, San Francisco, CA, November 2009.
“ D&O Liability and the Stock Options Backdating Scandal, ” Lorman insurance seminar, Countryside, IL, January 2008.
“ Loss or No Loss Under D&O Liability, ” American Bar Association seminar, Tucson, AZ, March 2007.
“ Stumbling Blocks to Settlement in D&O Cases, ” PLUS seminar, San Francisco, CA, September 2006.
“ D&O Insurance and Securities Class Actions, ” Chicago Bar Association Securities Law Institute, Chicago, IL, 2005.
Anjali Das Elected to PLUS Board of Trustees
December 18, 2013
FCPA: Defining D&O M&A Liability for Violations
Anjali Das Appointed to Legal Editorial Board
January 3, 2013
Das and Cohen Win Motion to Dismiss $6M Claim against CFO
January 2, 2013
Anjali Das Elected to Chair PLUS Midwest Chapter
October 12, 2012
Anjali Das Elected Vice Chair of PLUS Midwest Committee
November 10, 2011 Anjali Das was unanimously elected to serve as the vice chair of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Midwest Steering Committee for 2012.
Das Quoted in Business Insurance Article about the Rise of D&O Lawsuits
September 23, 2011 Anjali Das weighed in on the Business Insurance article entitled, “ Directors and officers lawsuits increase for midsize firms.”
Anjali Das China D&O Article Garners Media Attention on D&O Diary and in Business Insurance
August 31, 2011 Anjali Das recent article examining regulators increasing attention on financial and accounting fraud allegations involving China-based reverse-merger entities traded on U.S. stock exchanges has appeared in number of media outlets.
Das Bribery Act Article Posted on D&O Diary Blog
June 23, 2011
Anjali Das to Speak on Directors and Officers and Employment Liability
May 3, 2011 Anjali Das (Partner-Chicago) will speak at the PLUS Midwest Chapter seminar on the subject Hot Topics in Directors and officers and Employment Practices Liability. The seminar will be held on June 2, 2011, in Chicago.
Das to speak at ACI Conference on D&O Liability in NYC
November 10, 2010 Anjali C. Das (Partner-Chicago) will speak at the American Conference Institute’s 16th Annual Summit on D&O Liability to be held in New York City November 30 to December 1, 2010.
Das to speak at ABA Class Action Institute
October 7, 2010 Anjali C. Das (Partner-Chicago) will speak at the American Bar Association’s 14th Annual National Institute on Class Actions. The conference will be held in Chicago on Thursday, October 14, 2010, from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Das, Rothmann and Wills to participate in PLUS seminar
May 3, 2010 Anjali C. Das (Partner-Chicago), a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) Midwest Steering Committee, will co-moderate the upcoming PLUS education seminar “ Hot Topics in D&O, EPL, and LPL.” The event is scheduled to take place May 13, 2010 at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Gleacher Center, 450 North Cityfront Plaza Drive, Chicago.